a new view . . .

The sunlight shines through my window, my kitchen sparkles in the beautiful light. My mind is racing, I begin thinking “what can I photograph” to take advantage of this amazing light. Unlike artificial light, natural light can be unpredictable. The sun is shining brightly, or it peeks behind a cloud, or maybe it’s a completely overcast day. Overcast days are my favorite type of natural light, nature’s own soft box, a recipe for beautiful soft lighting with no harsh shadows.

In my new surroundings, I am finding the light to be so much more magical than before. Here the windows are larger, giving me a broad canvas to create my flower photography. I must confess, I was worried that I would not be able to create photographs in my new space. From the time we listed our previous house until we moved into our new house, several months had passed, without me taking any photographs. To my surprise, and relief, I find it’s just the opposite. The windows in this house seem to be more favorable for photography than I ever thought possible.

I discovered a photographer this past week on Instagram, she was hosting the Bella Grace Magazine feed for two days. Angie Lambert is a portrait photographer located in Atlantic Highlands, NJ. Oddly, I lived about 15 minutes from where she resides some 18 years ago. I fell in love with her style and in particular her window photographs. I decided I should post some of my new photographs with my new window backdrops, so here we are!

In our new home, I now have several rooms that I am able to utilize for photography. Unlike our other home, where the majority of my photographs were taken in one room in front of a double window with sheer curtains, this house has multiple large windows that are perfect for taking photographs.

I am feeling as though this may be the beginning of a beautiful relationship!

Thank you for following along, until next week . . .

with gratitude,

at last . . .

Each year I look forward to when peonies bloom. This year, I was unable to find any, that is, until this past Saturday. I tried one more florist, and to my surprise they had a variety, bright pink, medium pink and white with a hint of pink. I chose the medium pink variety.

I don’t know what it is about their fluffy, lacy petals that is so appealing, but peonies are so pretty and so much fun to photograph. They are a must if you are a flower photographer!

I wanted to try a few different edits on one photograph, I used Kim Klassen’s Light and Wonder Collection on one photo, to demonstrate the difference in mood and in my two visions. I find, out of all of the presets I own, I favor Kim’s the most. Her Light and Wonder Collection is the collection I use most often.

If you have never used a preset, they are relatively easy to use and can change the entire mood of a photograph with the click of a button. The above image was processed using the DreamLike preset. I love how it removed the bright pink in the flowers, yet left enough of the pink color, and gave the image a very moody feel to it. The photo below is completely different, less moody, more light and airy. The photo below is a more realistic portrayal of the actual flowers. These peonies were a vibrant pink with beautiful lacy petals, I also added one white hydrangea for contrast.

Peonies with SoftLight from the Light and Wonder Collection

This next edit is using a Preset from Cole’s Classroom. Cole Joseph is someone I just happened upon. He was offering this free webinar and I signed up. I believe when I took the class the presets were part of it. I don’t use these presets very often, but for this particular photo his Classic Clean and Crisp preset was exactly what I envisioned.

Edited with Cole’s Classic Clean and Crisp preset
Edited with Kim Klassen – Light and Wonder Collection – MatterFact

Mood portrays how someone is feeling and thinking. Each of the photographs shown today, have a very dark and moody feel to them. Something I don’t typically explore, but it seemed to fit these photographs. The color of the walls in our new home are a tan with a mauve undertone, the color really enhanced that moody feeling when I placed the props against one of the walls. The above photo was processed first with Kim’s Be Still Light Play Collection, I wanted to edit one photo in black and white, for that process I went into my VSCO presets and used Kodak TRI-X film black and white preset then I added +3 grain to the photo, giving it a real film feel to it.

This was an extremely fun project. I hope you enjoyed my vision for all of the edit choices this week.

As always, thank you for following along. I’ll see you all again next week . . .

with gratitude,

a pop of color . . .

I am typically drawn to colors other than yellow and orange. Blues and pinks are probably what I would typically decorate with, photograph or even wear. However, the color yellow, probably one of my least favorite colors, is what I find myself attracted to lately. Growing up, my mom loved yellow, we even owned dinner plates called space yellow, and I believe this is why I’ve never been attracted to yellow, it seemed to be everywhere when I was a child.

Continue reading “a pop of color . . .”

What Makes a House a Home?

We have lived in our new house for six weeks. The weather has begun to change and our screened in porch is truly one of the most peaceful places to sit with a cup of coffee in the morning or a glass of wine at the end of a long day. Our house is located on three acres, surrounded by woods. The sound of the leaves blowing gently in the breeze or even raindrops are comforting.

We are still unpacking boxes and desperately trying find a place to put the numerous belongings we brought with us, I have come to realize, that we own too many things. The new house is much smaller than our previous house. We went from 2800 square feet to 1728 square feet, we definitely downsized! This was our intention, to purchase a home we could manage easier, less upkeep as we get older, a home we could retire in and not have to move again. However, trying to fit belongings in a house half the size of what you previously lived in, is a challenge to say the least.

Continue reading “What Makes a House a Home?”

this room, that window . . . those memories

This room has come to represent who I am as a photographer. Most people who follow my blog or my Instagram feed, are quite familiar with this window. I have photographed flowers, chairs, children, McKenzie and even Lily in front of this window. This past weekend, as we continued to pack up our entire house, the time came to pack up my studio. After four hours and many boxes later (I did not realize how many props I owned), this room was my sanctuary, a place where I spent many hours organizing, prepping props and photographing pretty still life photographs, now it stood empty.

Continue reading “this room, that window . . . those memories”

who needed whom . . .

Those who follow my blog know, 2019 didn’t start off too well. We lost our Westie, McKenzie, the day before my birthday. Trying to make the most of my birthday, we had dinner reservations with my daughter and son-in-law, immediately before picking them up, I hurt my back and could barely walk, it took several weeks before I felt better.

The loss of McKenzie was so painful, I just could not get past losing her. I honestly thought I did not want anymore dogs. It was me who kept saying, after she is gone, I’m not ready to take care of another dog. Words, just words! As the weeks passed, the loneliness Brian and I felt in our home didn’t seem to subside.

Continue reading “who needed whom . . .”

knowing . . .

“When you adopt a dog, you have a lot of very good days and one very bad day.”

~ W. Bruce Cameron

I’ve written before about our Westie, McKenzie.  She came to us in 2005 the year after we lost my Mom and we lost our Akita, Teddy.  It was me who said I didn’t want another dog after we lost Teddy, but the house seemed so lonely, no one to greet me when I arrived home from work.  A person I worked with owned a Westie (West Highland White Terrier) and told me how wonderful the breed was.  I located a breeder, she came to our home, and approved us as parents for her puppy.  That is how McKenzie became a family member.  

Continue reading “knowing . . .”

A New Beginning . . .

“Celebrate what you want to see more of.” ~ Tom Peters

Each year we are given 365 new days to begin fresh. As we begin the new year, we have new hopes, desires and wishes for the best year ever. Most people make New Years Resolutions, however, many, including me, do not follow through with those resolutions. Regardless, we still have a clean slate and an entire year to accomplish wonderful things.

I haven’t photographed much in the last few months, nor have I written my blog as often as I would have liked to. I took time off to make a Christmas stocking for my grandson, which took me four months to complete. I forgot how much I love to cross stitch. I am so happy I rediscovered it, although, now I need a huge magnifying glass and very bright light to see those teeny, tiny squares Continue reading “A New Beginning . . .”

Let it be Christmas

“Peace on Earth will come to stay, when we live Christmas every day.” ~ Helen Steiner Rice

The days have gotten shorter, it’s dark earlier as the Winter Solstice approaches, but this time of year, the Christmas lights brighten the darkness. Lighting the way for all to experience joy and love. Even if you aren’t Christian, you cannot help but love Christmas lights. As children my parents would pile us in the car and drive around to look at the light displays. I followed this tradition with my daughter and I know she will do the same with her son. Why do lights amaze us and enlighten us so? What is the meaning behind the lights, and why do we feel the desire to celebrate in this way?

According to Robert Lobitz:

Symbol of the starry night on which Christ was born: 
Some people like to think of the lights representing the Star of Bethlehem, the sign that marked that Christ was born.

Symbol of the light of Christ:
In Christian tradition, candles are a symbol for Jesus and the light he brings to earth even in the darkest times. Some believe that the light is symbolic of the eternal light of Jesus’ spirit that is particularly kept in mind over Christmas. Different colored candles also represented different qualities, for example a white candle represents the purity of Christ whilst a pink candle represents joy.

Symbol of the light, hope and good in the world: 
The Christmas lights also served to remind good Christians to provide light to others.

Symbol of following the enlightened path: 
Some suggest that the Christmas lights are a reminder to follow the way of Christ. The path of lights that wind around the tree leading to the star at the top may be symbolic of the enlighted path to salvation.

I recently heard a song by Alan Jackson which seemed to resonate with me. The lyrics seemed to bring home what Christmas is truly about. Sometimes I need to remind myself that I need to be kind to others, even when I may not feel kind. None of know what sadness or possible situation may be happening in others lives, so we should try and be kind in spite of ourselves.

Christmas lights represent hope, lighting up the night sky, bringing joy to all this time of year. If we could keep that hopeful feeling in our hearts and in our daily lives throughout the year, what a better world we would all live in. I am not a deeply religious person, however, I do feel that being a good person and being kind to others, makes me a happier person inside. That inner happiness shows on the outside, which in turn brings happiness to others.

During this Christmas season, may the joy and love fill your hearts and the hearts of your family and friends.

Merry Christmas to everyone! Thank you for following along . . .